My sister Greta and I were having our portrait painted by our Uncle Finn because he knew he was dying . . .There's only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that's her uncle, the renowned painter, Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her once inseparable older sister, June can only be herself in Finn's company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies far too young of a mysterious illness that June’s mother can barely bring herself to discuss, June's world is turned upside down.
At the funeral, she notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd, and a few days later, June receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn's apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet.
As the two begin to spend time together, June realises she's not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he might just be the one she needs the most.
Tell the Wolves I'm Home is a tender story of love lost and found, an unforgettable portrait of the way compassion can make us whole again.
©2012 Carol Silverman (P)2012 Blackstone Audio
I was a kid in the 80s. My mum had a blood transfusion after complications during my birth. In 1987, when I was 7, I remember her receiving a letter asking her to have a blood test because the blood she was given had not been screened for AIDS. Thankfully it was negative. But I remembered, in a hazy seven year old way the fear of something that I had no concept of, but that it was scary.
This book was profoundly beautiful and sad. June's innocent love for these men in her life was strange, perhaps even hard to understand for some, but so hauntingly beautiful that despite its strangeness you can feel why she had to love these two special men and why her sister reacts to this fierce consuming friendship. The parallels in the relationships were poignant and provided a foreshadowing into June's and Greta's relationship; a cautionary tale.
And of course in the midst is the story of AIDS which is handled with astute gentleness. I can't help but feel Rifka Brunt gives the men of 80s a voice to those who have never heard or have forgotten this piece of sad and lonely history.
What I perhaps found the most shocking was the amount of autonomy the girls had; but I remembered a life in the 80s where parents did not hover and, as kids we were left to occupy ourselves. I can't give too much away, but at end of the novel my heart broke for the loss of Finn and Toby, and for what would become of these two young girls who at 14 & 15 have already seemed to live an entire life.
I loved this book and it will stay with me for sometime.
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